Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Title: The Diabolic
Classification: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover; 416 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1481472674
ISBN-13: 978-1481472678
Author's Website: http://sjkincaid.com/
Notes: I received an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) at BEA (Book Expo America).

Diabolic - relating to or characteristic of the Devil.

'We looked like people, to be sure. We had the DNA of people, but we were something else: creatures fashioned to be utterly ruthless and totally loyal to a single individual. We would gladly kill for that person, and only for them. That’s why the elite imperial families eagerly snatched us up to serve as lifelong bodyguards for themselves and their children, and to be the bane of their enemies.'


'But lately, it seemed, Diabolics were doing their jobs far too well. In recent weeks, the Imperial Senate had begun debating the “Diabolic Menace.” Senators discussed Diabolics gone rogue, killing enemies of their masters over small slights, even murdering family members of the child they were assigned to protect to advance that child’s interests. They were proving more of a threat to some families than an asset.' So the Emperor banned Diabolics retroactively.

My name is Nemesis and the human I am bonded to is Sidonia 'Donia' Impyrean. 'As the sole heir of a Galactic Senator, Donia would be expected to take her father’s seat after he retired. That meant she had to cultivate political instinct now and learn to speak to others among the Grandiloquy, the Empire’s ruling class. Her social skills would fashion the future alliances of her family and ensure their continued influence.'

This is my story.
This was a very emotionally charged roller coaster of a ride book.While its premise is similar to that of other books, it was so well written and the story so compelling that I found myself being swept away in the current  of the  book. The situation Donia and Nemesis were put in was terribly unjust, but given what people knew of Diabolics equally understandable. In the case of Donia and Nemesis, Nemesis was not the only one who bonded. Donia thought of Nemesis as her best friend or perhaps even a sister. She and her family could not fathom killing Nemesis so they devised a plan to outwit the Emperor. Treasonous? Maybe, but the family already had issues with his rule and killing Nemesis would jeopardize the safety of Donia. So when the Emperor extends an invitation to Donia they see the ruse for what it is and decided to send Nemesis in her place. Nemesis, a creature whose only task is to protect it's human, will now have to interact with others and pretend to be Donia.

I loved seeing Nemesis grow as a person. Her struggle to harness her predatory nature in order to protect her human was fun to watch. Her realization that she was more than what the Emperor and scientists imagined her to be was also fun to see. As she gained confidence in herself and started trusting her own decisions, we finally got to see the real Nemesis and not the one society had molded her to be. It was like she went through her own personal metamorphosis and it was spectacular.

Originally this book was only going to be a standalone. I am so glad the author and publisher decided to expand it into a series. While Nemesis went towards the light, I could see one of her fellow Diabolics opting for the dark after the way they've been treated. Just imagine what damage a genetically altered super powerful individual could do,  It could make for some interesting stories. Plus, we've already seen some of these Diabolics be used by their owners for furthering their own power and status. What would happen if a mistreated  Diabolic realized they had a choice? This book was a game changer and I look forward to finding out where S. J. Kincaid's imagination will take us and this world next.

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. I loved it. While I wish there had been a little more world building and character development, the author thought this would be a one book deal and was trying to pack everything she could into one novel and you have to take that into consideration. I highly recommend this one and look forward to the next installment.

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